Garden of the Plants in Paris

The Jardin des plantes (Garden of the Plants), also known as the Jardin des plantes de Paris when distinguished from other jardins des plantes in other cities, is the main botanical garden in France. The term Jardin des plantes is the official name in the present day, but it is in fact an elliptical form of Jardin royal des plantes médicinales (“Royal Garden of the Medicinal Plants”), which is related to the original purpose of the garden back in the 17th century.

Headquarters of the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle (National Museum of Natural History), the Jardin des plantes is situated in the 5th arrondissement in Paris (France), on the left bank of the river Seine, and covers 28 hectares (280,000 m2).

The Garden is immediately adjacent to the Paris mosque, the Jussieu campus and the Austerlitz train station; the surrounding neighborhood took its name.

Since 24 March 1993, the entire garden and its contained buildings, archives, libraries, greenhouses, ménagerie (a zoo), works of art, and specimens’ collection are classified as a national historical landmark in France (labelled monument historique).

It is the headquarters and main site of the National Museum of Natural History, which also has other sites in Paris and the provinces.

The grounds of the Jardin des plantes include four buildings containing exhibited specimens. These buildings are officially considered as museums following the French law (they are labelled musée de France) and the French Museum of Natural History calls them galeries (French for ‘galleries’):

The grande galerie de l’Évolution (‘Gallery of Evolution’) was inaugurated in 1889 as the galerie de Zoologie (‘Gallery of Zoology’). In 1994, the gallery was renamed with its current name, grande galerie de l’Évolution, and its exhibited specimens were completely reorganised so that the visitor is oriented by the common thread of the evolution as the major subject treated by the gallery.

The galerie de Minéralogie et de Géologie (‘Gallery of Mineralogy and Geology’), a mineralogy museum, built as of 1833, inaugurated in 1837.

The galerie de Paléontologie et d’Anatomie comparée (‘Gallery of Paleontology and Comparative Anatomy’), a comparative anatomy museum in the ground floor and a paleontology museum in the first and second floors. The building was inaugurated in 1898.

The galerie de Botanique (‘Gallery of Botany’), inaugurated in 1935, contains botany laboratories and the French Muséum’s National Herbarium (the biggest in the world with a collection of almost 8 million samples of plants). The building also contains a small permanent exhibition about botany.

In addition to the gardens and the galleries, there is also a small zoo, the ménagerie du Jardin des plantes, founded in 1795 by Bernardin de Saint-Pierre from animals of the ménagerie royale de Versailles, the menagerie at Versailles, which was dismantled during the French Revolution.

Working hours:

March 26 to September 30, 2023: 7:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.;
From October 1 to 28: 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.;
From October 29 to February 29, 2024: 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

See more:

20 arrondissements of Paris

Architecture of Paris

Museums of Paris

Entertainment in Paris

Bridges in Paris

Parks in Paris

Streets and squares in Paris

Shopping in Paris

Transport in Paris

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